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Monday, December 22, 2014

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1 Samuel 1:24-28
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Luke 1:46-56

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"glorify the lord with me" (ps 34:4)

"My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior." —Luke 1:46-47

The words of today's Gospel passage, commonly known as the Magnificat, are prayed every single day by Catholic priests, religious, and some lay people in the Liturgy of the Hours. These are words to unite people each day.

Mary had a heavy cross to bear. When she prayed her Magnificat, she didn't know if Joseph would receive her or reject her. She could have said, "My cross is heavy, my future unsure, and I'm scared." However, she focused on the Lord, rejoiced in Him, and praised Him and the great works He was doing, saying with her Old Testament matriarch Hannah: "My heart exults in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God" (1 Sm 2:1).

By fixing our eyes on the world and its gift-giving and receiving, we magnify the world's Christmas. Instead, let us approach Christmas as Mary did: by praising and magnifying God. When we magnify the Lord, it is as if we look closely at Him as though looking through a magnifying glass. God becomes ever larger in our sight. We cannot help but be overwhelmed by His greatness and splendor. We thereby fix our eyes on Him (Heb 3:1), forget ourselves, and are lifted up.

With Mary, rejoice in Jesus and "be ready to greet Him when He comes" this Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, make me blind to everything that takes my focus away from Jesus.

Promise:  "I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request." —1 Sm 1:27

Praise:  "O King of all the nations, the only Joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature You fashioned from the dust."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching, order our tape Mary's Visitation on audio AV 73-3 or video V-73.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014

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